Hills: Buckbarrow, Seatallan and Middle Fell
Date: Saturday 11th April 2015
Company: Just myself
Distance: 13.8km, Ascent: 805m
Time: 4Hrs 20Mins

The weather today was much better than expected; it remained dry throughout the walk but was blustery and very cold. There had been lots of rain overnight which had fallen as snow above circa 600m.

I drove to Nether Wasdale where I parked in a small car park (no parking charges).

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the car park, I set off walking towards Gill with a view to undertaking a circuit of Buckbarrow, Seatallan and Middle Fell (as per the route in the Cicerone book, Great Mountain Days in the Lake District). An excellent book.

Today involved opening and shutting countless gates to get to and from the fells. The walk to Gill was really nice. I passed Chaffinch, Great Tits, Wren and numerous Yellowhammers during this part of the walk.

I love the Mountains of Scotland but feel the Lakes are fairly special too - great fells and wildlife. There are busy Lakeland hills and ones that are quiet. During the circuit today, I only met four other groups of walkers; fairly quiet for a Saturday during the Easter holidays!

Bridge near Churchstile wood:

Buckbarrow is very impressive, but is it a hill? It only has a 4m drop. Buckbarrow is really just the craggy-end of Seatallan. It is however a Wainwright.


Buckbarrow, Middle Fell, Yewbarrow and Great Gable:

On reaching the road above Gill, I walked a very short distance along it until reaching the gill. The track ascending Buckbarrow is immediately to the right of the gill. The initial ascent was fairly steep but not difficult. I just took my time and plodded up.

Looking back to Gill from initial ascent of Buckbarrow:

Looking back during initial ascent of Buckbarrow:

Ascending Buckbarrow:

During the ascent I skirted a fairly impressive crag on its left. According to UK Climbing, Buckbarrow crag has 31 recorded routes on it and the rock is Rhyolite.

Looking towards the summit of Buckbarrow:

I am not a fan of wind turbines but I dislike nuclear even more. Seascale is uncomfortably close to the Western Lakes.

Seascale Nuclear Power Station (zoom):

Looking across to Middle Fell from the summit of Buckbarrow:

On checking the map, I was suprised to find that Buckbarrow is only 423m high. It felt higher.

Looking back from summit of Buckbarrow:

From Buckbarrow, I made my way out to Seatallan via Glade How and Cat Bields.

Long easy walk out to Seatallan from Buckbarrow:

Looking towards Cat Bields from Glade How:

View towards Seascale Nuclear Power Station from Cat Bields:

It felt seriously cold up on the wide Seatallan ridge. The forecast was for winds averaging 30-40mph.

Heading from Cat Bields to Seatallan:

The nicest looking hill by far was Great Gable. I have only ascended Great Gable once previously. I did it with Kirk Fell from Wasdale Head. This is a hill I definitely want to repeat. An ascent of Napes Needle sometime would also be very tempting.

Great Gable (zoom):

Haycock and the Mosedale hills from the summit of Seatallan:

It was also nice to see the Scafells. I wondered how many dozens or hundreds would be ascending Scafell Pike today.

Scafell Pike and Scafell from the summit of Seatallan (zoom):

Haycock from the summit of Seatallan:

On reaching the summit area of Seatallan, I visited the summit (near small cairn) and also the trig point and large shelter cairn. I took shelter for a while just to get out of the wind.

Trig point and large shelter cairn on Seatallan:

I decided to descend to the North-West and then skirt round to reach Middle Fell. This was the route recommended in my guidebook. The direct route looked ok but was definitely steeper.

Descent from Seatallan:

Heading for Middle Fell:

It didn't take long to ascend Middle Fell, which is a fine viewpoint. Middle Fell is a HuMP as well as a Wainwright.

Looking towards the summit of Middle Fell:

The Scafells and Wast Water from the summit of Middle Fell:

I followed the path during the descent which was not exactly located as marked on the map. The track on the OS map is a very rough approximation.

Wast Water and Whin Rigg during descent:

Looking across to Buckbarrow during descent:

Illgill Head and Whin Rigg across Wast Water during descent:


Approaching Greendale:

I eventually reached Greendale and then followed a Bridleway back towards the car. The route out was nowhere near as nice as my inbound route.

According to the guidebook, this was a 6 hour walk. It only took me 4Hrs 20Mins and I don't think I was going particularly fast today. This is a really nice circuit up not-so-busy fells. Well worth doing.